Moody slapped with ban for punch in reserve game

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The Independent Online

The Yorkshiremen reported Moody after viewing a tape of the match - non-Premiership fixtures are not overseen by independent citing officers - and their opponents immediately ordered their vigorous back-row forward to attend an internal disciplinary hearing. This is not, however, necessarily the end of the matter.

Moody, who admitted punching Jordan Crane during the second half of the game after coming off the bench, must still appear before a Rugby Football Union tribunal on 20 September and may be dealt a heavier penalty than that imposed by his club.

The RFU is pursuing a crackdown on violent play this season and is likely to take a dim view of the fact that Crane, the captain of England's Under-19 team last term, was forced off the field with a badly cut nose.

Moody will miss tomorrow's visit to Wasps, the reigning champions and Leicester's most potent rivals, as well as games with Bath and, ironically enough, Leeds. He will also find himself watching the opening match of the new Powergen Cup competition against Newport-Gwent Dragons.

Should the RFU extend his suspension, his participation in England's opening autumn international with Australia on 12 November will be threatened.

Another Test loose forward who played second XV rugby this week, the former Wallaby blind-side flanker Owen Finegan, has been included in Newcastle's squad for their home game with Bristol at Kingston Park on Sunday. Finegan will start on the bench, along with three fellow internationals - the Italian prop Tina Paoletti, the England hooker Andy Long and a chap by the name of Wilkinson.

* Gavin Henson has flown to Munich to meet with one of the world's leading experts in groin injuries to see if he needs to have surgery as he attempts to get fit in time to face the All Blacks for Wales this autumn.

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